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Re: magenta, turquoise, yellow: yum!


Date: Thu Nov 18 2004 - 19:45:21 PST

I consider cyan magenta and yellow to be primaries in an
alternate color system and I teach it as such. We're in
Silicon Valley where many of the kids already know they all
know the RBG system, so it's not gospel to them that the
prinary colors are red/blue/yellow.

In fact, I discovered when I was doing color research some
time ago that historically red/blue/yellow is a convention.
Aristotle's color system was a scale of red/black, and
Newton included violet as a separate color in his spectrum
becuase he wanted a symbolic seven.

From the practical standpoint in the chemistry of tempera,
red/blue/yellow is not a particularly aesthetic color system
because the reds and blues (at least those my district buys)
are gunky and heavy and produce awful mixed colors. Cyan
magenta and yellow tempera, on the other hand, make for
beautiflly luminous secondary mixes.

The one color my students miss is plain old ordinary red and
when we're out of stock of the token bottle or two of that
color, I tell them to mix magenta and orange for a red
that's much more beautiful than ordinary dull old primary

Interestingly, having cyan instead of true blue doesn't seem
to matter to them.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 18:08:25 EST
>Subject: Re: magenta, turquoise, yellow: yum!
>To: "ArtsEdNet Talk" <>
>Do you use magenta, turquoise and yellow tempera paints
instead of red,
>yellow and blue?
>I too won't enter into the color theory debate. As long as
kids know the
>primary colors and WHY they are they primary colors then I
think it is great to
>introduce something that makes their work more long as they
>understand the difference...
>Hey...we could start a new wave...the new primary colors
are....<tada>!!! :-)